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The Pros and Cons of Having Cameras in New Jersey

There is a great show on CBS called “Person of Interest,” which is built around the premise of a “machine” built to catch terrorists that watches everyone and warns a couple of vigilantes when someone is about to get into trouble. The “machine” is a series of cameras that are everywhere and see everything. In New Jersey, we already have that machine, sans the vigilantes.

Red Light Cameras
Flickr User Functoruser


It seems cameras are everywhere in the Garden state and more are coming. People are so used to being watched that they take it for granted. The most famous use of cameras so far is the catching of the Boston Marathon bombers. Thanks to private surveillance cameras police were able to catch them in just 5 days!  Does it make you feel more protected knowing that there are cameras every where?


So how do you feel about being on camera? If you’ve got nothing to hide, no problem, but what if you do?  Privacy advocates warn against the inevitable calls for more surveillance to battle crime and terrorism in the wake of the Boston attacks, fearing a day when someone’s every move could be cataloged by police. But new poll numbers show most Americans of all ages are just fine with being watched in public.


What if the places and private citizens that use these cameras started selling their images? What if meeting halls were filmed and stored? With facial recognition software, a background check could turn you up just about anywhere. What if you suspected your spouse of cheating and could buy the surveillance tape of the bank across the street from the hotel? Or at least look at it for a few bucks. Would that be invasion of privacy? Would you have a right to privacy if you’re out in public?


Personally I have no problem with the cameras. I see them as the evolution of security. I’ve even done shows about putting cameras in the classroom as a way to discipline and prevent bullying. I don’t however like the idea of cameras ripping off as in red light.

What about you?  How do you feel about the growing number of cameras in New Jersey?

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